Junction Brings in 2014
By Anthony Ainslie
Junction Motor Speedway opened its 2014 season with day one of the Spring Thaw Saturday afternoon.
Six classes of racecars took to the track for the first of two nights of racing as part of the Junction’s opening weekend. Two-person cruisers, stock cars, hobby stocks, B-mods, modifieds, and late models all raced on a dusty afternoon in McCool Junction.
Josh Leonard from Gibbon, Nebraska won Saturday’s late model main event. An early-race pile up took some of Leonard’s toughest competition out of contention, including Tad Pospisil and Alex Humphrey.
After winning the MLRA late model Rookie of the Year Award in 2013, Travis Dickes of Madison, Nebraska showed off his skills in a modified. He won the 20-lap modified main event on day one of the Spring Thaw.
Beatrice, Nebraska’s Jesse Vanlaningham won a wild hobby stock main event after beating out a hard-charging Lee Horky and R.J. Macku. Vanlaningham beat out Horky at the line by about half a car length.
Andy Wilkinson won Saturday’s stock car main event. A stipulation was added to the race by stock car driver Dan Jackson. He and one of his crew members threw tennis balls into the crowd, and whomever’s car, determined by starting position, won the race, one fan won $100. Wilkinson started third and led most of the race on the way to a victory.
The B-mod main event took a while to finish due to two red flags that happened before the first lap was completed. After the race got going, Shawn Harker of Nebraska City, Nebraska was the head of the class. Harker won the 20-lap B-mod main event.
The team of Tony Roth and Scott Strong dominated the two-person cruiser main event. Roth and Strong had mechanical issues during their heat race, but they came back to win the main event.
The End of a Dusty Opening Weekend
By Anthony Ainslie
Late models, modifieds, B-mods, hobby stocks, and four-cylinders took part on the second and final day of the 2014 Spring Thaw at Junction Motor Speedway.
Sunday afternoon was a dusty afternoon. High winds and clouds of dust made it a tough afternoon for racing. No matter much water was put on the track, within a couple of races, the track was bone dry.
Alex Humphrey took feature honors in the late model division. Josh Leonard, Saturday’s late model feature winner, gave Humphrey a good challenge for the win in the final laps, but Humphrey beat out Leonard at the checkered flag.
Former B-mod track champion, Jeremy Leiting, won Sunday’s modified feature event after denying Travis Dickes back-to-back wins. Dickes however had a good weekend overall winning on Saturday and finishing second on Sunday.
Jason Wilkinson, a former JMS hobby stock and stock car champion from Neleigh, Nebraska, won Sunday’s hobby stock feature event. Wilkinson fended off the likes of Dillon Thompson and R.J. Macku to take the win. After a great Saturday afternoon feature won by Jesse Vanlaningham, the feature on Sunday ended a great weekend of hobby stock racing at Junction Motor Speedway.
On Sunday, reigning B-mod track champion, Kevin Betzen, turned his weekend around with his feature win in the B-mods. Betzen was involved in a first lap wreck the day before, and he came back the next day and won after starting on the front row.
Rocky Zimmerman made his return back to the Junction in his number 71 B-mod Sunday, and he walked out with a second place finish in the feature.
Lincoln, Nebraska’s Larry Cronin drove his yellow number five-car to the feature victory in the four-cylinder division. After spinning out twice, Tyler Barribo came back to finish third in the feature.
It was an exciting two days of racing at Junction Motor Speedway. The first points night is Saturday, April 26, at 7 p.m. The Spring Thaw is in the books, and the 2014 season at the Junction is officially under way.
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